Signs of Life

When you were born you seemed pristine and perfect. Deep down I longed to keep you safe and protected so that your tender and fresh body would not be marred.  But over time you got bumps and bruises, scratches and tiny scars, even burns.  I see now that these are all signs of life. To wish for you to remain untouched is to deny the beauty of growth.

Unconditional Love

Shared By Jessica Peterson

I am currently in the midst of week five of the Presence Process, which is focused on bringing awareness to my inner child and the values of innocence ("inner sense"), joy, and creativity.  I sit twice a day, in the dark next to Rowen after he has fallen asleep for his nap and bedtime.  It is both the perfect time and the worst time to meditate.  On the one hand I have the space, time, and quiet that I need to dive deep, but on the other hand I want to rush off and start cleaning, cooking, or trying to finish some other odds and ends.  

I was really struggling to cut through the chatter this week in particular and get to the core of my inner child.  I could find everything under the sun to think about to avoid looking any deeper.  Suddenly, a vision of myself at around a year old and Rowen came to mind.  We were both sitting in our living room together, each of us upset.  I, as my current self, was also present and constantly tending to Rowen, attempting to care for and support him while I completely ignored this little version of myself.  Baby Jessica sat there and cried as I pretended to be completely oblivious to her, and Rowen and I went on about our things.  

It dawned on me that the constant chatter and my inability to get beyond the shallow thoughts was because I had no regard for my inner child. She was left to the wayside.  This vision of both Rowen and I sitting side by side was such a stark interpretation of how I have neglected little Jessica that I couldn't bare to let her be alone any longer.  I thought "I value you, you are worthy of my attention", and with that her crying ceased and she understood that she was loved.  My mind slowed and I was able to rest and be present with her, giving her the space and attention to speak what she needed to say.  It turns out she didn't need to be heard, only to be seen and loved for just being.

I see now that I have neglected her for my entire life because I really never knew how to love a child, even when I was a child.  Caring for Rowen has taught me what it means to be present and available to a young one learning how to navigate the world.  He has taught me the closest approximation of how to give unconditional love, and so, finally, I was able to turn around and give that to myself.  I cannot describe how healing it felt to take her in my arms and let her know she is worthy of being loved.  I am worthy of being loved.

Peas and Presence

Shared By Jessica Peterson

Rowen loves frozen peas.  But he has not fine tuned the task of picking them up.  One day I watched as he went to feed himself a few peas.  He reached his chubby arm out with his pointer finger and thumb poised, his mouth already open to receive.  Oops, the pea went flying across the room.  He reached for another, oops, lost that one too.  He reached for another, oh no, once again the pea went flying.  Finally, with an apparent pressure adjustment between his pointer and thumb the fourth pea made it it into his waiting mouth.  Then he was off and ready for a fifth, his movements reaching perfection now.

What struck me in this moment was his intent focus and complete lack of discouragement.  In fact, he was more in a realm of equanimity.  He spent no time considering where the lost pea went, he was just on to the next one, and even when he succeeded there was no celebration, he was just on to the next one.  In that moment it was like watching a true artist.  The results were of no consequence, he was simply engrossed in the act of mastery.